Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Sweet Potatoes from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!


Yams or Sweet Potatoes?

Yams are really not indigenous to or grown in the United States. They are actually from Africa.

The tuber was misnamed here during the slave trade when the slaves were introduced to sweet potatoes to cook with. They were similar but MUCH smaller than the yam. The name stuck however in translation and successfully confuses most of to date.

The next time you buy a yam, chances are, if you are in the U.S. you are probably eating a sweet potato. Check the pictures on this page, which ones look like the ones you find in the stores?

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

The nutritional value of sweet potatoes has been pretty well established, but most people don't know their color is not always orange. They come in many colors, some with orange flesh, others with white, some with tan skins and some with reddish skins and there is even a purple skinned sweet potato called a "Purple Sweetie." There may be as many as 300 varieties of sweet potatoes grown worldwide.

Varieties with orange-colored flesh contain much higher levels of carotenoids than less pigmented types. Sweet potato flavor is largely based on starch and sugar concentrations, and these are affected by cultivars and storage conditions.

Selecting a quality product

When buying sweet potatoes, select sound, firm roots. Handle them carefully to prevent bruising. For the most food value, choose sweet potatoes of a deep orange color.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Tips on Storage

Store in a dry, unrefrigerated area - keeping them at 55-60 degrees F. is best. DO NOT REFRIGERATE, because temperatures below 55 degrees F. will chill this tropical vegetable, giving it a hard core and an undesirable taste when cooked.

Tips on cooking

Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, fried, broiled, canned or frozen. They can also be cooked in the microwave oven. Before cooking sweet potatoes, scrub skin and trim off any bruised or woody portions.

The sweet potato is ideal for people who are health conscious. The sweet potato is quickly finding its place in the American diet year around.

Wash cured sweet potatoes and bake or boil until slightly soft. If boiled, drain immediately. Thoroughly cool the baked or boiled sweet potatoes.

To freeze: Wrap individually (skins left on) in freezer wrap or foil and place in plastic freezer bags. Seal, label and freeze. Most sweet potato dishes freeze well. Save time and energy by making a sweet potato dish to serve and one to store in the freezer.

The sweet potato blends well with many herbs and spices.

One of our regular customers at the market told me that her family has a tradition of going around the table at Thanksgiving and letting each person give thanks for something they particulary like. Of course, one of her children said, "Thank you for Christmas!!" but the cutest one came from her 3 year old who said, "Thank you for the orange potatoes."


Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

8 c water
2 tsp thyme leaves
3 cups diced onions
2 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, diced
2 cups celery, thinly sliced
2 cups Russet potatoes, chopped
1 cup carrots, 1/4" rounds
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried tarragon
10 oz frozen peas, thawed
2 tb parsley, minced fresh
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
2 tsps salt
2 tbsp dried chives

Bring to a boil water, thyme, bay leaves onions & diced sweet potatoes. Lower heat to medium & cook covered about 30 min until potatoes begin to break apart and form a broth. Add celery, russet potato, carrots, basil and tarragon, continue cooking 10 min. Lower heat and simmer covered until carrots and potato pieces are tender about 10-15 min. Add peas & parsley and simmer 5 min. Turn burner to lowest heat. Blend sour cream and milk together in a blender container and add to soup along with the salt & chives. Heat gently, stirring often until soup is hot but not boiling. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Sweet Potato and Ham Hash

1 med sweet potato (about 1 lb)
1 lb ham
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
6 tb butter or margarine
8 poached eggs
4 tbsp sour cream

PREHEAT OVEN TO 250F. Wash but don't peel the sweet potato. Shred potato on fine blade of a shredder or food processor. Place in mixing bowl and set aside. Finely chop ham; pulse using puree blade of food processor. Add ham to the shredded potato. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick 6-inch skillet over medium heat. Add one-quarter of the potato-ham mixture. Cook about 4 minutes, pressing down gently to compact the hash as it cooks. Flip the hash patty and cook another 5 minutes. Add more butter if necessary. Repeat with remaining mixture; add more butter to skillet as needed. As each hash patty is done, transfer to oven to keep warm. Place 2 poached eggs on each serving. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 tb thawed orange juice concentrate
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne (opt)
1 lb sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2" sticks

Preheat oven to 450F Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with vegetable spray. In a medium bowl combine orange juice concentrate, onion powder, salt and cayenne. Add potato sticks and turn to coat. Arrange coated potato sticks on the oiled foil in a single layer. Bake 10 min; turn carefully, bake 10 more minutes or until tender.


French Fried Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes
Vegetable oil
Brown sugar

Peel sweet potatoes.
Cut into thin strips.
Heat vegetable oil to 365.
Deep fry until golden brown.
Drain. Sprinkle with salt, brown sugar and cinnamon to taste.

Sweet Potato Salad

1 lb sweet potatoes, baked
1/2 cup green peas, cold cooked
1/2 cup pineapple, crushed & unsweetened
3 tbsp parsley, chopped fresh
1/3 cup favorite dressing
8 lettuce leaves, (optional) cup
Peel and slice sweet potatoes and place in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss lightly. If desired, serve on lettuce leaves.cup

Sugar Crusted Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
2/3 cup skim milk
1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes
1/3 cup sour cream

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup level off. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, mix well. Using pasty blender, cut in shorting until mixture is crumbly. In small bowl combine milk, sweet potato and sour cream, blend well. Add flour mixture all at once, stirring until moistened. If dough is too dry add additional milk. 1 teaspoon at a time until dry ingredients are moistened. To form each biscuit drop 1/4 cup dough onto spray coated cookie sheet. Sprinkle tops with remaining 2 Tablespoons brown sugar. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 mins. until peaks and bottoms of biscuits are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

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